1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

By Steven Jay Schneider

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer preston
I would have given it a 5 star rating but the list isn't correct. There are two movies that are in the book but are not in the checklist at the beginning of the book: Shadow of A Doubt and The Dark Knight.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
pedram
As a busy person, I like the idea of a list of movies that are considered by some as a must to watch. Indeed a lot of these movies are great. The reason I gave three stars is because Eudora mailed to me in a flimsy package. It was open and all dusty and scratched. So it did not feel like a new book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
owen kendall
As a movie buff I am always looking for new to me and also good movies. I went through some best 100 list. Now what do do? Buy this book of course.

Not every movie in this book is Oscar material. Many are historically ground breaking or contain some iconic scene. Some are so bad that they should not be missed.

The information about each movie is enough to determine if I want to watch it or not. What I am so grateful for is having them all listed in one place in order of year.

I only found a few of these titles available for streaming through Netflix. Many are available for rental on DVD. The ones not available illegally I found for download on The Pirate Bay. These brave soles may be breaking copyright laws in the USA but they are keeping hundreds of classics alive.
Me Without You :: Everything You Want Me to Be: A Novel :: Man Enough: A Single Dad Romance :: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Revised Edition) :: Blue Wide Sky (A Smith Mountain Lake Novel Book 1)
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jill seidelman
I thought this would be a good reference to pick movies that I wanted to see. However, there are several movies included that I would never recommend. Therefore, this book will become a conversational piece rather than a book of reference.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
andreafaythe
This is a very nice book, however, 3/4 of the book is a review on veeery old films from beginning of the cinematography history.
You can find plot, cast, main idea and pictures for every film on the list.
Basically, there is no need to buy this book, you can find all this info on Internet.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sophia chaulk
Looking through this( all the movies are seperated by year) You get the empression, "Hey this looks interesting." Being handicap, I would love to watch a number of these. Even get a chance to watch movies and give companies an opioin and MY thoughts of the movie, and Hey, If I get paid to do It, even better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dela dejavoo
Nice and heavy book with good illustrations. Jacket was a tiny bit marred up on the corner, but i can fix it(maybe) Tempted to look through it for myself, but it is a gift so I better not! OH what the hell, I will anyway. I want to see if my favorite movie is in there, And it is! Not telling what it is though, ha,ha,ha
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
tanya rankin
Steven Jay Schneider (ed.), 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (Barron's, 2005)

I have no idea how I didn't review this the first time around, but it seems I didn't, so here we are close to three years later; according to my spreadsheet, I finished this up on January 31, 2010.

Schneider's book is different than a number of others of this ilk I have reviewed, and loved, in the past in that Schneider is acting as editor here; the 1001 pieces are collected from a number of film critics, rather than this being a personal selection of Schneider's. As such, you're not going to find many surprises here (only eighty of the films listed are unique to this thousand-best collection from among the eleven thousand-best collections I have data on); this in itself is no surprise, given Ebert's Rules of Best-of Lists (basically, the more cooks you have contributing to the soup, the more generic that soup is likely to be).

And yet I certainly don't mean to imply that this isn't a worthwhile reference; far from it. There's a lot of overlap with other thousand-best lists, but if you're not a collector, that's not going to mater a whit to you. Any single thousand-best list is going to give you a wealth of places to turn the next time you're looking for a good movie. Schneider's doesn't have the quirkiness of, say, David Thomson's list in Have You Seen...?, or the canonical feel of Jonathan Rosenbaum's list (which can be found online as well as in one of his books), but it's not like sticking a dart in and picking the movie it stops at is going to steer you wrong. If you're a neophyte film buff, someone who's just starting to get into the classics, or someone who wants to expand your film horizons, Schneider's tome will do just as well as any of the others. When you've got some miles under your belt and you want to wander off the beaten path some, then it's time to pursue Thomson, Rosenbaum, or the ultimate canonical list at They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?. Until then, this will work fine. ***
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
belle
I'm about to purchase this nice-looking book, but in dipping into it I found this "quotation" from Scorsese's GOODFELLAS. It's Henry Hill near the film's end: "If you ask for spaghetti bolognese they give you noodles with meatballs." That's strange, because Hill actually says, "...right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup." The entry for this film was from somebody named Kim Newman. Maybe the other contributors are more accurate. I hope so.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
asmaa
Watching movies is one of the things that I love to do. It is wonderful to have a guide to what the best movies are and this book does not disappoint. It goes from 1900 to the year 2010 and includes a myriad of movies, all choses for careful and good reasons. I plan on going through the whole book and checking off the movies that I want to see as each movie has a description that lists the year it was made, the language it is in, its producer, Oscar nominations (if any), along with the screenwriters, photographers, music, and any film festivals it has been in.

I like the fact that it has pop movies as well as movies that are more intellectual. There is something for everyone in this book. I have a lot of fun and juicy work cut out for myself if I want to even make a dent in watching what's included in this book. I thank the publishers for all the hard work that went into creating this book. It is quite useful.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mark dostert
There are many things to appreciate about this terrific collection of short essays about the best movies in the history of cinema. I especially liked how the films were listed in chronological order, from "A Trip To The Moon" in 1902 to the latest contemporary movies. This chronology gives the book a sense of historical perspective which further enables it to be an educational tool for understanding what is perhaps the most popular art form of the current era.

Plus this book is just tremendous fun to read. The essays are intelligent and insightful but also well written and a pleasure to read. Photos are included for many of the films. Also the list is large enough that movies from every imaginable genre and style are here - international, avant-garde, documentaries, westerns, horror, etc.

Of course, every reader will probably find at least one of their favorite movies omitted. What no "Key Largo"!?! But still enough classic films are listed to satisfy all tastes. It was great that this book included an index of directors. I only wish that it had an index of actors and actresses as well. But still this is a minor quibble about an excellent book. One that will provide not only an enjoyable first reading. But also serve as a useful reference guide to film viewing for years to come.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katy punch
This is the greatest version of movie reference encyclopaedia type books I have ever come across. Other efforts only seem to cover one era, assuming all good movies were made before colour or after a certain date but this monster sized collection spans movies from 1902 to 2002. This 960 paged collection contains 1001 movies, obviously they couldn't really call it 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die if it didn't. Not all of the greatest movies ever made are inside but then again the book is not claiming they are.

I do wonder though why movies such as Friday the 13th are not included when so many other horror movies in here are compared to it. No matter what the basis for selection was the great thing about this book is that it doesn't just have movies that were made in Hollywood, no it recognises that a movie world exists outside of the USA and has great movies from all over the world, some are even languages other than English although at least 95% of them are English speaking ones.

This is an excellent collection and a must for any movie fan. It is also great for you to get to know what a lot of those older DVD and videos in the $1 week sections of the local video store are actually about. After reading you'll have a desire to rent many and some you had heard the titles of before you may no longer want now that you know what the movies are actually about. An excellent present for any movie fan, although it would cost a bit to post.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
debi gordon
This picture book recaps various firms from the 1920s to 2010 and is likely more of a reference book than one you can honestly say you enjoy. I can't say that the publishers didn't try as they have some rather beautiful photographs and detailed sections for each film (save for inexplicably leaving out some of the 90s films until the 2000s start up in that section). There are summaries and mild critiques for each entry that's been chosen on the list, some of it is Oscar-bait material while other times it's art-house and blockbuster fodder.

Overall, as a whole, this book doesn't add up to much when you think long and hard about it and have either seen/heard of most of this material as it often feels like the collaborators/editors simply chose every award-winning/five star rated film they could find, then didn't bother even giving a full review of the material. I say money is better spent elsewhere on the following type of film books: 1) The How to Create Film books (although some of those get FAR too trivial half the time). 2) The various in-depth books by comedians, actors or filmmakers. 3) The film review compilations on certain themed films. This film might be in a random film student's professor's main office but that doesn't mean it truly belongs there.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jimena
I absolutely love this book. I got it as a gift and have bought a few other copies to give as gifts to fellow movie lovers. Of course there are movies in the book I completely disagree with, but I've really broadened my horizons, watching several movies I would have never watched but for the book's recommendation. There is a description of each movie chosen, but I really like that the author tells you something really interesting about each movie and tells you why he chose that particular movie. Also, there is a really cool checklist in the beginning that helps you keep track of what you've watched. I can't say enough good things about it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
vaishali
This book is COMPLETELY awesome. It's 940 pages with great color pics on almost every page, and 1001 short essays by leading critics. The selection is listed chronologically, and it's almost perfect - lots of world cinema, lots of weirdo classics, lots of cool stuff. There are 10 movies by Bergman on the list, 5 by Capra, 10 by Kubrick, 9 by Spielberg, 4 by Tarkovsky, 4 by Von Trier, 2 by Miyazaki, 6 by Kurosawa, 6 by Antonioni 18 by Hitchcock, 3 by Cronenberg, 3 by Kar-Wai etc, etc. And it was released recently, which means that it also includes fairly new movies like "City of God" and "Far From Heaven". Highly recommended! It may very well be the only movie book you'll ever need, and it could be the best book about movies ever. It's literally a lifetime of wonderful viewing.
(A few missing films that I would welcomed: Lassiter's "Toy Story II", Romero's "Martin", Jodorowsky's "Santa Sangre", Bogdanovich' "Paper Moon", Cronenberg's "Dead Ringers", Miyazaki's "My Neighbor Totoro", Greenaways' "Drowning By Numbers" and a few others. But that's silly nitpicking. This book is great!)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
elliott
This is a terrific companion for the committed film buff, or someone looking forward to expanding their knowledge of world cinema.
I am sure many discussions have and will be provoked by what has been included, what left out. I have already started writing a list of omissions which I find scandalous! I am sure it won't accord with anyone else's!
I really like the genre indices - for dipping into when you are in the mood for finding something at the video shop in a certain style.
My personal 'shock-horror' omissions?
So far:
They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
Le Cercle Rouge
Funny Girl
Harvey
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
Mrs Miniver
Carnival of Souls
The Party
The Court Jester
Zulu
Ryan's Daughter (if only because it played forever in Australia!)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kate cares
This is a fun gift for movie lovers, particularly those who like old movies as far back as the 1920s. It may not be so great for younger generations who do not appreciate movies before the 80s and 90s as the book is mostly made up of movies from previous decades. The appendices at the back of the book allow you to find movies in multiple ways other than just by title and the fact that the movies are outlined in chronological order by decade is also helpful in this regard.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
louisenealon
The title should tell it all. These are movies that a group of "experts" think you should see. Not necessarily the best. There are a lot of art films here and foreign films we might not give second thought to. No one is going to agree with all of them. There are some clunkers here. In foreign language films I would have listed "Die Bruecke" (The Bridge) one of the most outstanding anti-war films and "Sobachiye Sertsye" (Heart of a Dog) based on Bulgakov's tale.
But how ANYONE could have left out "The Lion in Winter" from this book is unfathomable. Perfect casting, acting, costuming, realistic set, etc etc.
In many ways this book is almost a tour de force of the film industry over the years.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
marisa labozzetta
I'm annoyed. Color me annoyed. Which is a shade close to mustard yellow.

1001 movies. ONE THOUSAND AND ONE MOVIES.

And they didn't include The Labyrinth. Or Mary Poppins. Or The Seven-Year Itch. Or a multitude of other movies that there is absolutely NO reason to leave off the list.

ESPECIALLY when I turned the page and saw the words "There's Something About Mary".

You're going to include a crappy movie like that, which is not in any way funny, and you're going to leave off something as incredible as The Labyrinth?

I don't think so.

I plan to make a list of the movies I haven't seen yet from this book. But if I owned it, I'd toss it. It lost so much credibility when I realized they left out my movie.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
terrance
As soon as I saw this book on the shelf I knew it was for my ever-expanding collection of cinema sources & the selection contained herein did not disappoint. Except maybe for the alarming number of errors I found. ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN did not win best picture in 1976; as the next page testifies, ROCKY did. THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW was not narrated by Dr. Everett Scott; it was narrated by The Narrator(Charles Gray). DANGEROUS LIAISONS did not win Best Picture in 1988; a few pages later it states,correctly,that RAINMAN did. In the piece on Charles Chaplin's brilliant MONSIEUR VERDOUX, the end result of his work & the sentiments expressed in his film made him the target of the political right which led to his permanent departure from the United States in 1952. He returned in 1971 & was presented with a lifetime achievement award at The Academy Awards.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephanie feldstein
1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die is more like A Compilation of Approximately 750 Overrated Movies. This is what I feel what I am flipping the pages and constantly saying to myself, "Overrated. Overrated. Overrated." From time to time, I surprised that a particular movie got the recognition it deserves and is mentioned in the book. At end, there are some serious omissions that can easily replace any of the overrated flicks in the book. Let's start with the selections, shall we? Lon Chaney's The Phantom of the Opera is in the book, but I don't see The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Why Klute when They Shoot Horses, Don't They? is indefinitely better? Forget Deliverance, Harlan County U.S.A. is missing and is considered as one of the greatest documentaries made. Kudos to the authors for having Triumph of the Will, Roger and Me, Fahrenheit 9/11, Crumb, and Hoop Dreams in the book. But no Bowling for Columbine? Forget Boudu Saved from Drowning and get The Most Dangerous Game in. What about The Mystery of Wax Museum, a famous film for its two-color Technicolor? What, no The Roaring Twenties? Duck Soup, Frankenstein, Grand Illusion, The Wizard of Oz, The Rules of the Game, Ivan the Terrible, Parts One and Two; The African Queen, Umberto D, The Naked Spur, The Seven Samurai, The Night of the Hunter, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rebel Without a Cause, The Searchers, The Wrong Man, The Seventh Seal, Eyes Without a Face, Marnie, Dr. Strangelove, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly; and Doctor Zhivago...boring...overrated. Bring in Call Northside 777, Born to Kill, Where Danger Lives, Dial M for Murder, East of Eden (just watch it for Jimmy Dean and be awed), The Curse of Frankenstein, A Bucket of Blood, Plan 9 from Outer Space (you can't die a complete cinephile without ever seeing this Ed Wood, Jr.'s classic), Purple Noon, The Miracle Worker (shocking), Birdman of Alcatraz, The Ugly American, and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. It's super to see the inclusion of The Ox-Bow Incident, Rope, Gun Crazy, The Asphalt Jungle, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (still waiting to be included in the top 25 of AFI's List of 100 Greatest Films), One-Eyed Jacks, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (still a disrespected Western). Also, get rid of the following overrated films: The Graduate, Cool Hand Luke, Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio...zzz), Planet of the Apes, Little Big Man, Patton, A Clockwork Orange, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Shaft, The Sting, The Conversation, Young Frankenstein, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Why?!), Annie Hall, The Hills Have Eyes, Suspiria, Life of Brian, Mad Max, The Shining, The Empire Strikes Back, Airplane!, Reds, An American Werewolf in London, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, E.T., Diner, Gandhi, Videodrome, Return of the Jedi, Once Upon a Time in America (more Sergio...more zzz), Paris, Texas; A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Breakfast Club (lame...lame), Children of the Lesser God, Top Gun (please), Full Metal Jacket (way too many Kubrick films in the book), Fatal Attraction, Bull Durham, The Naked Gun (um...why?), Dangerous Liaisons, Batman, When Harry Met Sally, Do the Right Thing (still increasingly overrated year in, year out), King of New York, and Pretty Woman. And save the dignity of the book by throwing in the following films: The Sand Pebbles, Reflections in a Golden Eye, Le Samourai, The Dirty Dozen, Burn!, Brian's Song (another shocker), Airport, Play Misty for Me (another neglected classic that was shamelessly ripped off by Fatal Attraction), Junior Bonner, Shaft in Africa, The Great Gatsby, Death Wish (who could forget the origin of Charles Bronson's fame?), The Gauntlet, Every Which Way But Loose, The Brood, Bronco Billy, Urban Cowboy, Escape from New York (can't disrespect the man himself Snake Plissken), Scanners, An Officer and a Gentleman (already a romance classic), Sudden Impact (Go ahead and...), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Runaway Train, Death Wish 3, The Goonies, 9 ½ Weeks, The Last Emperor (shocking), River's Edge, Wall Street, Prince of Darkness, Predator (regarded as a classic by most people), Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; Angel Heart, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Working Girl, The Unbearable Lightness of Being (another shocker), Lean on Me, A Dry White Season, Born on the Fourth of July, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (hands down, the best of the series), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Days of Thunder, Misery, Tremors, and Ghost. Missing films of the 90's are: Point Break, Cape Fear, Straight Out of Brooklyn, The Last of the Mohicans, The Cutting Edge, Damage, Like Water for Chocolate, Dazed and Confused (just watch it for Dave Wooderson's sake) What's Eating Gilbert Grape, El Mariachi, Sleepless in Seattle, Clear and Present Danger, Citizen X, Twelve Monkeys, Apollo 13, Showgirls, Swingers, Freeway, Good Will Hunting, Gummo, The Big Lebowski, Wild Things, Boys Don't Cry, and Eyes Wide Shut. Very few films from 2000's should be included such as: Snatch, Sound and Fury, Mulholland Drive (you have to experience David Lynch as much possible), Antwone Fisher, XXX, Million Dollar Baby, Maria Full of Grace, The Notebook, The Butterfly Effect, and Bug. There are far too many rubbish 1990s and 2000s film titles in the book, and unfortunately, I am taking up too much space already by listing the better films. Why are the photographs from Raging Bull in color? All in all, 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die is motivating for the sake of being a cinephile completist. And the book has too many spoilers!!!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
muthu
This book has wonderful, glossy photos and pages, great fast-fact run-downs of the directors and actors in each movie, and more often than not the reviews for each movie give you a great idea of what makes it a stand-out work, besides name recognition. As a budding film-buff, this is a great way to find more "popular" obscure movies, as well as see a really wide range of movies.

The movies are chronologically ordered in the book, and can also be searched in a helpful index by director, if you're trying to brush up on a particular director's corpus.

If it weren't for ONE THING this book would be a five-star purchase...there are spoilers in many reviews! And not spoilers that are popular knowledge. I just saw "The Ox-Bow" incident, for example, and thank goodness I read the review afterward...the first two sentences tell you the ending of the movie! Yuck.

There were clearly a lot of hands in the pot for this book, since the reviews also vary wildly in analysis and depth, partly for space reasons and partly because each movie has a different focus, so the different specialty reviewers clearly aren't supposed to all sound the same. Some reviewers are great, giving you lots of helpful historical background and elements to notice in each movie, while others will tell you the ENTIRE MOVIE PLOT, SPOILERS INCLUDED, and then just give you a character summary. That's next to useless!

You HAVE to wait to read the reviews until after you see the movies. That's OK, as long as you have fair warning!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
bill jarrett
It's pleasing to note that most of the editorial errors which detracted from the usefulness of the earlier edition have now been corrected, but the main criticism I made of "1001 Movies", still holds good. The book is woefully unbalanced. Roughly a quarter of the pages are devoted to pre-1958 movies, while the remaining three-quarters focuses on the last 50 years. This appalling distortion means that most of the cinema's greatest masters have been excluded. Of course, all the fashionable directors are still represented, and just about all the current pop and cult favorites get a look-in. But those who are looking to expand their movie horizons will find few unfamiliar pictures in "1001 Movies". To my original review, I appended my own list of 400 essential films. Only 88 of these are represented in "1001 Movies". Hollywood Classic Movies 1: NEW LIGHT ON MOVIE BESTS
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rebecca fraser
Although this book provided an acceptably organized compilation of movie classics, I was bugged by the fact that reviews/thoughts included spoilers, or revelations of the movies' endings.

I purchased this book in order to discover movies I knew not of previously or had heard of and was interested in seeing. The occasional spoilers are given without warning and made me read with caution to those movies that I did not yet know the outcome of, which was quite tedious.

Overall, the reviews were convincing and thoughtful when not completely blatant, but do proceed with caution.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
anna elizabeth
This book GIVES AWAY THE ENDINGS TO MOVIES! What were they thinking? I think it is acceptable to give away movie endings if you are writing an in depth article or paper exploring cinematic technique, character studies or something along those lines. What the authors have done here is written two and three paragraph summations of films and tell you who dies, gets married, wins the fight etc... For example the page on the German/French film Funny Games tells the reader who dies and how it ends. It's a short half page description of the film and rather than tell us why we "must see it before we die" such as great acting or beautiful cinematography they just tell us what happens so we don"t have to watch the film at all! Read the page on the movie Scream and you will know who commits the murders.

This book is thick and full of beautiful movie pics on every page so it's a shame that you take your chances reading about any of the films you haven't seen because they may ruin the ending for you!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lynn brown
No one will agree that the list is perfect. One of your favorite movies will be missing and you'll see another title and think, "What? THAT movie made it but not (insert favorite movie title here)." The synopses are very well written and include aspects of cinematography, story structure, character development, costumes, score, etc... Watch out for newer editions for this one is already out of date.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
akash
I received this book for Christmas 2009 and love it! It's a thick bound book that is printed on high quality paper and is compact in size so it doesn't cover much (coffee table or otherwise) space. You get interesting brief reviews of films throughout the years (1902-2007). The only drawback is there seem to be a lot of rather obscure foreign films listed, which I'll probably never find and thus, never watch.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
nancy doherty
With this kind of concept book there is always some doltish nitpicker who comes along and says: "Why wasn't so-and-so included?" Unfortunately, this time that person is me. As fun and absorbing as this book is to read, and as gratifying as it is to find many of the films I thought belonged in such a book had indeed been included, I'm afraid my thoughts started echoing David Stratton's in the Foreword when I found some glaring omissions. If such a book is going to include Tim Burton's "Batman" (which this does) surely Richard Donner's superior and groundbreaking "Superman: The Movie" also belongs. Such an omission grates simply because similar films of lesser historical importance and quality ARE included. What the heck is disposable rubbish like "Strange Days" doing here for instance? Or for that matter, Spielberg's lamentable "A.I."?
And where is the Coen brothers' "The Big Lebowski"? My thought was that this book would be the sort of tome that lets readers in on the "secret language of movies". "The Big Lebowski" is one of those films that have found their way into pop culture references, yet this book overlooks it. Perhaps the authors thought that the inclusion of the Coens' "Fargo" and "Oh Brother, Where Art Though?" was enough. But how will the reader ever know who "The Dude" is if such books don't point them in the right direction?
Stratton laments the omission of Phillip Noyce's excellent "Newsfront" in the Foreword, and you could also certainly claim that that director's "Rabbit Proof Fence" is also conspicuously missing. Many other quality Australian movies are given entries however including, much to my gratification, Fred Schepsi's "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith".
All this being said, as I mentioned earlier, it is always gratifying to find that so many favourite movies make it to the list ("In the Mood for Love" being one of these happy examples). I can easily be happy with not seeing other favourites, since such choices are so often based on individual tastes. But the omission of movies that so obviously seem to fit the criteria of the book is annoying.
The pictures that accompany the entries are illuminating and interesting. My only criticism of these would be that the book certainly could have fitted more of them in the blank spaces, and that there are some strange choices for some entries. The authors seem to have had a strange obsession with Robert Mitchum's Love/Hate tattoos form "Night of the Hunter", illustrating them on two pages. And why include a full-page picture of young, naked boys eating from dog bowls from Pasolini's "Salo"?
The entries themselves are illuminating and usually well written. Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton mention a few good examples of the clarity and evocativeness of the entries in their chatty Foreword. Personally, I found entries such as the one on Carol Reed's "The Third Man", Rob Reiner's "This is Spinal Tap" and even Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly's "On the Town" interesting and exhilarating to read, because the authors of these entries seemed to be able to evoke the mood of the movies. The entries are marred, however, by some pretty awful grammatical and spelling errors in places. And any filmgoer knows that it was the wonderful Charles Gray who Narrated "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and not, as this book goes to some effort to claim with authority, Jonathan Adams. Others mention the factual errors in the book in these reviews and I must agree with their sentiments.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elsa ehlers
very compelling and well put together truly enjoyed the book and it was well put together broken down real well. very fascinating book
and well informed and its got alot of cool break downs and overview.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
techno paranoia
I am not as worried as other people are about spoilers - sometimes it is important but it should be borne in mind that with great films one often wants to see them over and over.

Now I am sure we all have our favourites and can be equally miffed both about omissions and what can be perceived as gratuitous inclusions.

David Putnam described East of Eden as the greatest film ever made - undoubtedly an exaggeration. On the other hand, in the copy I have been browsing (had every intention of making a purchase), it is not listed whereas The Hills Have Eyes is - says it all really - do not buy this book if you know anything about film.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
angela mckavanagh
Make no mistake, this is a heavy read, and you should expect to spend at least a month reading it. But when you are finished with it, you are going to feel so much more enlightened about cinema, that it's a revelation! A year ago, before I had read this book, I passed the movie section in my library, and barely knew of, let alone had interest in the Polish, Italian and German films that resided there. Neither did I know the goldmine of old American movies that were available to me. This book alone changed all that, making me able to recognize the names and films of Capra, Antonioni, Bertolucci, Almodovar, Fellini and many others. 1001MYMSBYD covers everything from blockbusters to art films to dramas, and can turn the most uninformed layman reader into an educated movie buff! Very recommended. The only reason I give it 4 stars is because of its grammar and factual mistakes (wrong years, wrong pictures winning the oscar, et.c.), which mar an otherwise brilliant book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
carla bush
This book is a good one to have handy to look at movies that you may or may not know and serves to job you into picking up one that you have not watched in awhile or in fact have never seen.

It is extensive (and there is no way I think I will ever watch 1001 movies) but it does lead to some issues in things that are inaccurate, so a better proof reading of the next issue woulld be well placed.

And some off the synopsis are a bit too detailed and can give away some points in the plot, so that is another place where the next edition could improve, they can err on holding back some information or making it clear that points can be revealed.

Despite these shortcomings, it is still a good book and I enjoy just thumbing through it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brimley
For the casual film fan this book provides an excellent overview of the cinema for the past century. In order to fit in the large number of mini reviews and commentaries for the selected entries the editors had to omit a good number of films that many would have deemed worthy of inclusion. The most egregious omissions were of silent films, of which only a relatively small number were included from the many years before the beginning of sound films. Film buffs may argue with some of the selections, but the inclusion of "small" and cult films alongside the well-known Academy Award winners is to be applauded. The editors, though, were often sloppy with the sidebar award section, giving a film credit for an Oscar win when only a nomination was received. There are several instances when at least two films from the same year were cited as winning the same Oscar. For those like myself who can recite year-by-year the Oscar award winners and nominees, the sidebar errors detracted from the scholarship of the work.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
elaaf
1001 movies is a bit of a mixed bag. It does present the reader with many important movies throughout history and provides brief explanations and occassionally pretty pictures. But as many other reviewers have pointed out there are some clear problems that you will pick up very quickly when reading this book.
First, many of the descriptions of a movie will provide spoilers and sometimes even give away a major plot twist. Along the same lines, the descriptions also usually focus too much on explaining the plot and not dedicating enough words towards explaining why the film is important and the effect it has had on the film industry.
Secondly, (however this is the point i personally consider most dissapointing) there is an inherent skewed favouritism towards older films, as the films from 1930's - 1970's has a far larger portion of pages than the 1980's onwards. At the risk of sounding rude, this seems typical seeming as most of the contributors to this book are in the later stages of their life.
Once again, along the same lines, this book does pick some great flicks that any movie-goer would agree to, however there are also many questionable ones. Meet the parents and Apoclypto are just two examples of films that made it into the book most likely through their box office pay-off rather than being important movies in cinema history.
I mean where is Cross of Iron (An intereesting WW2 Eastern Front war drama and a Peckinpah classic), 28 Days Later (Brought new life into the 'zombie' genre, and gave much more than typical blood & guts), The Dark Knight, A history of violence, There will be blood, No country for old men, Eastern porimises, Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, Bowling for Columbine, Infernal Affairs (They put The Departed in but not IF!!!), Perfect Blue, City of God, O Brother where art thou?, Gattaca, Lord of the rings (The only put in Return of the King), Marathon Man, Master & Commander, Munich, Ray, Secret Window, Solaris (2002 version), The Talented Mr. Ripley, Turtles can fly, A Beautiful mind, Battle Royale, The Blues Brothers, Cast Away, Collaterl, Cube, The Dirty Dozen etc (that's probably enough for now).
With all this in mind it does still pick up on alot of important films, and this book is a good companion to a collection of cinema related books, but definately not the definitive film book.
Also the index is thankfully well done, which is essential in such a chunky book like this. The films are arranged by year and there is both an alphabetical index of films by name and an index of films corresponding to the director. Also at the front of the book there's a rough index of films by genre.
All in all it's worth a read if you already have a number of film-related books (and especially if you have a weak spot for older movies).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stacy shrieves
As a baby boomer I love the movies! Why? Well in the mid fifties of the last century the big guys in Hollywood began to see that Television was a real threat and pulled up their socks!
As a young teenager I got the biblical epics Ben Hur , Spartacus, etc and I was in awe of their spectacle. As Chuck would say they put me "Into the Arena". But the musicals the Gene Kelly marvellous magical moments, printed indelibly on my young mind! Well they are all there in my mind's eye BUT now they are in this marvellous book "1001 Movies-You must see before you die". Well I have not been able to put it down and I no sooner have read one review than I turn the page and the memories keep flooding back. The excitement and the shear joy of what it was like in that mid-century movie theatre and to see those stars, play out the brilliant film scripts so carefully crafted. Well done Mr.Schneider, for editing such a treasure of a book for me to endlessly thumb through!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
renee ann giggie
Good but in missing important directors i.e. Lina Wertmueller... Love and Anarchy, Pasquale and the Seven Beauties, Love and Anarchy... It takes a tumble. Thes movies are Treasures that newbies and film connoisseurs alike should experience .... Shame shame... Could not imagine that not one of this director's movies would be included... For this reason alone I would not have bought the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
aarti yadav
As a film student, there is no better resource available to help you watch all the movies that are worth watching than this book. Clearly, this is quite a large list and dates back all the way to 1902's "Le Voyage dans la lune." However, as great as a concept this book is, there are some flaws with its execution.

1: Spoilers. Not every entry has them, but one must be very careful while reading about a movie that one hasn't yet seen due to the spoilers that the authors decided to include. The least they could have done is mark a page with spoilers on it.

2: Mistakes. After I see a movie in the book, I like to read its entry to gain some extra insight. About one in every four times, I'll notice a mistake. They're usually not big mistakes, but their enough to make you question whether the writers actually watched the movie or just read the Wikipedia entry.

3: No "Les Triplettes de Belleville." This film is without question the greatest animated film of all-time, and it easily makes my personal top ten list, period. Of course, I like many other movies that are not included, but I fail to see how this movie is not on this list. If a person with a terminal ilness asks me to tell them three movies that they absolutely MUST SEE before they die, I would tell them "Star Wars," "Pulp Fiction," and "Les Triplettes de Belleville."

Great idea, good execution, but be cautious. Be careful of what you read, don't believe everything it says, and know that there are great movies that are not included.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sean mooney
A compelling list of movies derived not only from the United States, but also touches upon the entirely important films of Europe and the early day classics that helped shape the Hollywood movie we all love and enjoy. Highly recommended for any movie lover. Comes complete with a checklist of all the movies!!!!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
amy madden
1. It doesn't include 'The Shop around the corner', whereas 'Apocalypto' and 'Borat' is included. How is that REMOTELY possible? I mean, it's not even 100(even if the movie doesn't make THAT cut, it's a sacrilege), it's 1001 !

2. It's WAY TOO bottom heavy. Movies before 1968 doesn't even make half of the total pages. Unfamiliarity is no excuse, since we can watch pretty much any classics thanks to the DVDs.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
erinn
Pretty good isn't? Some of the movies I still have to see is Mad Max, Nosferatu 2, and this one filmn with the moon. This is a very well put toghther book that belongs in everyone's libary. Some of the the films I knew was going to be on there was The Godfather, Scarface, Psycho, Carrie, and King Kong. Some of the movies I did not know were going to be on this list were A Nightmare on elm street, Gangs of New York, and Chicago. Buy this book. It's great
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
venessa
Any book that includes Satyajit Ray's "The Music Room" gets my vote as a possible buy. I don't know who picked the newer movies -- maybe it really was someone who is emotionally fourteen years old or maybe they wanted to pander to young people as the above review suggests. "Up in Smoke," "Meet the Parents" -- these are great movies? And omitting Polanski's "Knife in the Water" considered by many to be his best movie, not to mention "The Road Warrior" which made Mel Gibson an international star -- not good. And "Gladiator" is included and "The Duellists," Scott's beautiful rendition of a Conrad story not? Buy it for fun, but with the knowledge that it's far from a definitive best movies book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
erin hicks
Add this to your roster of great reads and even more importantly, see the movies before you die. If you love movies, this book describes 1001 of the best films from around the world, with black and white and color photos. All my favorites were mentioned and there are about 500 more I need to see.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
alvin
They call this book a "browser's delight", but clearly it demands to be taken more seriously than that. The book's "user-friendly mask" does well in disguising the serious thought animating its creation of a roster of indispensable films. However, this belies not only the erudition of its well-qualified contributors, but also the grave (pun intended) seriousness of the book's stated purpose.

This book takes the defining of the "essential" nature of the movies way too far. At a glance, I've noticed quite a significant number of the movies listed in this book are unavailable on DVD or video, and are very unlikely to be theatrically re-released in the forseeable future.

Immortality may be becoming a desirable commodity in itself nowadays, but do we really want plagues of increasingly desperate undead moviegoers scouring the globe for precious prints or copies of extremely rare or unavailable movies?

Someone should have thought it through a bit more before going ahead with publishing this book...
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jesse strauss
I have a question, since theis book is entittled 1001 movies you must see before you die. I'm just wondering what movies they cut out of the orginal book for the 5th edition? Any body know what movies they cut out?

Amy Smith
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
harmony
I received this book as a Christmas gift and have enjoyed skimming through it. Several movies of which I was previously unaware I would now like to see. However, I was very surprised at some of the films not included. For example, there isn't a single Harold Lloyd film, and one of John Huston's, Bogart's, and E. G. Robinson's best films, "Key Largo," is omitted, yet "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Total Recall" are on the list???
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kelly dubs
"1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" is slanted toward the tastes of teen male fans of the grotesque and the sensational who are unaware of, or don't care about, older and more woman-friendly films.

Just flipping through the book is an unpleasant experience if you aren't looking forward to seeing large images of a woman's eye being sliced open by a razor weilded by a male hand (p 74), a woman being hung by her neck, her mouth smeared with blood (p 639), a monster and a bloody body (p 653), a giant human cockroach eating another bloodied human body (p. 804), etc. etc. etc.

This emphasis on horror, the sensational, and the grotesque, and on the presence of females as the objects of horror, is demonstrated by the book's front cover -- Janet Leigh screaming in horror before her character was stabbed to death in "Psycho."

Molly Haskell, in "From Reverence to Rape," records how films, that used to feature an abundance of female characters in a variety of ranges, now focus on male ticket-buyers. This book focuses on males, as well.

Female stars are given very short shrift. Example: unless I missed it, there is not a single photograph of Greta Garbo in this large, heavy, 960 page book, with photographs on almost every page.

Greta Garbo? Greta Garbo? Not a big enough star?

Okay, it's understandable that a 14 year-old male fan who thinks of "Star Wars" as an example of the Dark Ages of filmmaking would have never heard of Greta Garbo, but when a book christens itself with the pretentious title, "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," the reader is entitled to expect a bit more knowledge.

I guess Garbo's sin, in these editors' eyes, is that she was never stabbed to death in a film, or eaten by a giant, slimey monster. (One can almost hear the editors of this book thinking, "Man! Cool!")

Another star completely missing from this book -- Rudolph Valentino.

Umm ... do I need to explain this?

See, boys, half of the human race consists of women. Women like to watch movies, too. Once upon a time, Hollywood gave women beautiful men to ogle. Valentino was the first male megastar. His funeral was one of the most important events in the twentieth century history of the celebrity.

Guess you missed that ... while watching "Dawn of the Dead" one more time.

Readings of the relatively few women-friendly films that are mentioned are hopelessly off-key and uninformed.

"Broken Blossoms" is lauded for its use of oil-coated lenses.

Never, in the full page review, is it mentioned that "Broken Blossoms" is a full-length, mainstream Hollywood movie treatment of domestic violence, and that it contains a scene where the film's female protagonist, played by Lillian Gish, a huge star, is *beaten to death,* on camera, by her father.

It is remarkable that an early, silent film was so brave. No mainstream Hollywood film since has treated domestic violence against women with such power and frankness.

Even if you didn't care a whit about domestic violence, even if your only concern were for technique, you'd have to mention that Gish won praise for her ability to depict the girl's terror as her father breaks in on her hiding place.

The book never utters a word about the film's treatment of domestic violence, or even Gish's legendary handling of it.

The book has other flaws. Many of the more recent films listed are pleasant, but are not films that you should worry about dying before seeing. So, breathe easy about a lot of these pleasant but mediocre films.

In at least one case, a spoiler -- the ending of a movie whose ending you should not know before seeing the film -- is revealed. There may be spoilers in other comments, as well. I don't know, because, after a while, I stopped reading. This is not one of the 1001 books I must read before I die.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jenny guivens
1001 movies 5th edition....hmmm....
having spend the money on that paper brick i wonder what i can do with it...?prop up my sofa maybe...? out of those 1001 mentioned flicks,only about a hundred are actually worth watching...and those have most likely been already watched by the average movie fan.other movies, just to mention a 110 million dollar spinner The music comedy 'blues brothers', not even given 1 line...tsk
'ghost' or 'convoy'....'silent running'....'the big lebowski'...???dont wanna write a book about the other 1001 movies you should see,...
the ones that made some money or had some meaning....my advice ask friends and family whats good and you'd be better advised plus you would save a few bucks you could use to see some 'great ones'.... ciao
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
ben whiting
Why did I give this book 2 stars out of 5? My rating has nothing to do with the book itself, but the fact that it's all a big COMMERCIAL. The front cover proudly claims that it includes a free membership application to Blockbuster. I have checked the book itself out and loved it, but because I don't want to give money to the author, I will not purchase a copy until it changes.

-I once rented movies from Blockbuster myself, and I noticed that some movies I really wanted to rent were not in stock. The covers were there, but the movies were not. All the time I went there, I never EVER found them in stock. Do you want to rent all these movies from a video rental store that has some titles which are (literally) never in stock?

-Blockbuster always claimed what they stocked as "New Releases" were in fact about 2 or 3 years old. Do you want to be fooled into thinking that old releases are the opposite of that word "old?"

-Blockbuster is anti-adults and pro-kids. They have more titles in the "Family" section than in any other, and they do not stock NC-17 or unrated movies, but instead stock R-rated versions. Do you want to give money to such a meretricious chain?

For getting your hands on all the movies you want (as long as they're on DVD) and seeing movies in their original form, I recommend Netflix. It is an online DVD rental chain that is immeasurably better than Blockbuster. It is at [...]
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
nicole greaves
This book is interesting there's a lot of good movies, except they ignore some real classics so they can add more obscure foreign films to impress the cinema hipsters while omitting so great movies.

Very few horror movies.
No mention of Bolt, Secret Of Nimh, Clerks 2, or Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back? But Dark Knight? Come on, i thought Bolt was the superior film. If they wanted to add a super hero film from 2008, then why not Iron Man?
They Have El Topo, but no Holy Mountain or Santa Sangre?

Over all it's a pretty good book, but it does have flaws.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
rick mackley
I usually like reading books like this, books full of all sorts of cool, but rather useless (unless you're planning on competing on Jeopardy! or a devoted cineast) information. Such books often send me searching for more information on new subjects. I thought this book would be lots of fun to read. It wasn't.

The first thing I want to know is, what planet do these movie critics hail from? They write these lavish articles, praising movies for things that most people go out of their way to avoid. It seems like half of these "must-see" films are either horror and/or horrifically violent, or else highly/purely sexual in theme. Some I had never heard of before, nor do I ever want to again: The 120 Days of Sodom (based on the writings of Marquis de Sade) and Videodrome are two of the worst. And if the films aren't sickening in subject, then often they are about the despair and futility of life. Ok, so life is hard and meaningless sometimes. I don't need a movie to tell me that.

Also, who chose the pictures to be included in here? There are pictures in here that are extremely disturbing, to put it mildly. I can't imagine what some of them would do to a young child who happened to pick it up and flip through it. I know they would have given me nightmares when I was younger. Some still managed to give me the heebie-jeebies.

There are a lot of good movies listed too. But plowing through the trash to find them got real tiresome real quick. Towards the end I was only skimming the entries, trying to avoid the more gruesome pictures (I didn't succeed) and only reading up on movies I had actually heard of.

If you are fanatical about cinema, and are more interested in nifty camera angles and lighting techniques than in being entertained, then 1001 Movies might have some interesting suggestions for you. For the everyday moviegoer, I would say that in the time it would take to read through this book, you could watch all three of the Lord of the Rings films end to end. And that would be time much better spent.
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